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Protesters demand police reform after shooting of 13-year-old in Chicago

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Chicago on Friday evening demanding police department reform a day after the city released body camera footage from the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Video and photos posted on social media showed demonstrators lining the streets of the Logan Square neighborhood and holding signs that read “Justice for Adam” and “No more killer cops.” 

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Local ABC affiliate WLS reported that while some protesters had planned to march to Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootChicago Auto Show returning after coronavirus-forced hiatus Chicago mayor mulls 'vaccination passes' for events Police accountability office releases video in Anthony Alvarez shooting MORE’s (D) house nearby, police prevented them from doing so. 

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The majority of protests Friday were peaceful, but WLS noted that a small group of demonstrators engaged in clashes with police later in the evening.

The body camera footage, released Thursday by Chicago’s Office of Police Accountability, showed Toledo in the March 29 incident running from a police officer down an alleyway before the cop ordered him to stop. 

Toledo then turned around and raised his hands in a surrender pose, at which point police said they saw the 13-year-old holding a gun, though it is not immediately clear in the video. 

The officer, who has since been identified as Eric Stillman, can be heard in the video telling Toledo to drop the weapon twice before shooting the 13-year-old in the chest. 

Protesters have urged the Chicago Police Department and Lightfoot to take action in response to the shooting, calling it another instance of unwarranted use of force. 

However, the head of the Chicago police union, John Catanzara, maintained Thursday that the police shooting was “100 percent justified.”

“That officer’s actions were actually heroic,” he said during an interview on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.” “There’s a very good reason he only shot once.” 

“He could have been shot multiple times, but the officer assessed in a split second,” Catanzara said. 

Others have also defended the officer’s actions, including former Washington, D.C., Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “Tragic as it was, the shooting was reasonable.” 

Backlash to Stillman’s actions has continued after the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Illinois on Thursday said that a prosecutor who claimed in court that Toledo had a gun on him did not "fully inform" himself before testifying.